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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor released new regulations December 1, 1998 requiring companies using powered industrial trucks to provide their operators with classroom and hands-on training by a trained, knowledgeable and experienced instructor.(29 CFR 1910.178 (L)) These new regulations became effective March 1, 1999, from which time employers must have been working toward full compliance by December 1, 1999. State regulatory authorities, such as CAL-OSHA, were required to bring local regulatory standards into compliance with OSHA requirements by June, 2000. Note: Many state regulations exceed minimum federal guidelines.

This regulation applies to all industries (general industry 29 CFR 1910), construction (29 CFR 1926), shipyards (29M CFR 1915), marine terminals (29 CFR 1917) and longshoring operations (29 CFR 1918), with the exception of agricultural operations. This means employers from the small corner store to the plants that use any kind of "..mobile, power-driven vehicle..to carry, push, pull, lift, stack or tier (product or) materials must provide their operators with adequate training."

The new regulations apply to any equipment covered by the specific industry standard. These include, but are not limited to, the following powered industrial trucks (regardless of their name)

  • Tractors (tow, yard, etc.)
  • Platform Lift Trucks (order pickers)
  • Motorized Hand Trucks (powered pallet jacks, including electric powered)
  • Industrial Crane Trucks
  • Combination Vacuum Lifts
  • Guided Industrial Vehicles
  • Container Top Handlers
  • Fork Trucks (forklifts)
  • Container Reach Stackers
  • Semi-tractors/Utility Vehicles
  • Straddle Carriers
  • Hustlers
  • Top Loaders
  • Side Loaders
  • Other Specialized Industrial Trucks Powered by Electric Motors or Internal Combustion Engines
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